Movie Review: Black Adam

Duane Johnson, the star of the new movie “Black Adam”, has been on talk shows and has had many interviews saying things like, “This movie took over 10 years to get made”, and “This movie is the most important movie of my career”. Aside from this, given that this is a major new Marvel character, the potential for billions of box office profits with several sequels is possible, but only if the screenplay and movie are good enough to deserve a sequel. Considering the amount of time this movie took to get made, the fact that the screenplay was this bad is hard to believe.

One great quote from a critic on Rotten Tomatoes, Glen Weldon says it all: “Black Adam is what happens when you build a movie from the outside in — when you start with the visuals and figure everything else will just fall into place.” We have all seen movies that seem to be nothing but a continuous stream of computer-generated special effects – that obviously cost a great deal of money. Unfortunately, the thinking in too many cases is – who cares about great dialogue and a well-told story, when all the audience cares about are explosions and people getting killed. Black Adam is nothing more than “one of those kinds of movies” that a director like Micheal Bay has turned into a career.

In the case of Black Adam, he is a superhero who does kill the people he is fighting frequently, unlike other superheroes who at times just injure and do not kill. There are some parts of this film that make no sense, but by the time these scenes are shown, you are either too overwhelmed by the insane, relentless special effects or too deep in a coma to care. This latest Marvel movie represents a big opportunity lost because if it was a well-made film, then sequels and billions at the box office would have followed. After this installment, it is very unlikely there will be a Black Adam 2.

For some reason, other than a big payday, Pierce Brosnan plays a superhero called Dr Fate, with 3 other mostly unknown actors playing a flying eagle, a woman who can create tornados, and a young man who can make himself 50 feet tall.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings are very correct 41%, with my rating the same only because of the special effects. This one is a big miss.

Movie Review: Clerks III

The new movie “Clerks III” is one of those sequels where the producers thought, there is a built-in audience, nothing much to do here, we can slap something together and it will be good enough to make a profit.

The original Clerks, released in 1994, the sequel Clerks II released in 2006, and now this one, are all about a depressing Video Store, next to Quick check with mostly intoxicated or high workers who understandably hate their lives and jobs and are looking to escape their real life by being as intoxicated as possible. There were some funny ideas and scenes in the first Clerks, I never saw the second Clerks but this latest version was a long, boring, and unfunny disaster.

Fundamentally there is nothing funny about having to hold a horrible job to survive, 5 days and 40+ hours a week – a very harsh reality to so many millions of us. Constantly smoking weed also gets old pretty fast and was somewhat funny decades ago with some Cheech and Chong movies. There is no real story within this film other than a man in his 50’s working in a Quick Check and very depressed about his life and losing the love of his life played by Rosario Dawson – who appears as a ghost in several scenes.

The main characters – who are the Quick Check employees, Dante and Elias want to change their lives by producing a movie – all about their lives as Quick Check employees. Jay and Silent (who work next door) also get involved and the rest of this movie is all about jokes and scenes that just do not work. This was yet again one of those movie-going experiences where you are just looking at your watch, waiting for the nightmare to finally end.

The Rotten Tomatoes critics are way too generous with their 64% ratings for this film, with my rating of 20% and a big-time miss.

Movie Review: Halloween Ends

Throughout 44 years of these ridiculous, absurd, and mostly bad movies, the one central theme with all of them is that this Michael Meyers murderer who wears a mask seems to get killed over and over again, and then somehow he is not dead when he should definitely be dead. The question has always been, is it really necessary to be this ridiculous? When is dead, really dead? Why stretch medical science to new absurd levels with every Halloween movie?

The stupidest of all of the movies that include Michael Meyers being killed off is “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later”, released in 1998. At the end of this movie, after Laurie Strode and Meyers fall down a ravine in a van, she decapitated him with an ax. So how could there have been so many more Halloween movies? As far as I have heard, medical science has never figured out how to reattach a head.

The 13th and hopefully final Halloween movie is called “Halloween Ends”, the follow-up to last year’s “Halloween Kills” – both movies were filmed at the same time starting over 3 years ago. This last movie adds an additional copycat killer who is a young man named Corey falsely accused of killing a young boy while babysitting. Due to the injustice of how he is treated and bullied by the people in this small town, he befriends Meyers who is hiding in a sewer system – where else? This additional killer means much less screen time for Meyers who has most of his scenes at the end of this film with Laurie Strode, played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis – who has promised on several talk shows that this is in fact the merciful end to this series of 13 stupid movies.

I saved money on this film by streaming it on Peacock for 4.99 rather than paying full price in the theater. The other advantage of streaming is that you can fast-forward through the boring and too-bad-to-sit- through scenes.

The critics on Rotten Tomatoes this time around are correct with their low 40% ratings for this movie, that is only for the most die-hard fans of this franchise.